Moments after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the international agreement designed to limit Iranian nuclear activity, reaction began pouring in from around the world.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed his nation on television shortly after Mr. Trump spoke, reprimanding the United States for failing to “respect a multilateral treaty.”
“Tonight we witnessed a historical moment, showing that the United States never keeps its word,” Rouhani said, calling the move “hostile to Iran and other countries in the region.”
Rouhani promised the Iranian people the decision was only a temporary setback and vowed to seek a continuation of the nuclear agreement with the remaining countries involved: The United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and Germany.
“From this moment on, this is an agreement between five countries and it has lost its plus one,” Rouhani said. “We will see how other great countries in this agreement will act and behave.”
However, if he deems negotiations for continued trade are not fruitful, the Iranian leader threatened to reinvigorate his country’s uranium enrichment program in a matter of weeks.
On the streets of Tehran this evening, people were indignant over what they say their leadership sacrificed in order to cement the nuclear deal in 2015.
“They gave away our nuclear reactors in return for nothing,” 24-year-old Javad Nazari told ABC News. “Iran honored its end of the deal, but the other parties did not. The West broke its promise just like it did in the past.”
In a move that could mean further isolation of the United States from its key allies, three key European leaders issued a joint written statement of “regret and concern” over Trump’s decision to pull out of the agreement, known as the JCPoA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“We emphasize our continuing commitment to the JCPoA,” wrote Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “This agreement remains important for our shared security. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.”
Russia’s foreign ministry released a statement criticizing today’s move, saying there is “no basis for blowing up” the deal and vowing that Moscow is ready to work with the accord’s other signatories.
“The deal does not only belong to the U.S,” according to the statement posted on the ministry’s website, which also accused Washington of “grossly trampling on the norms of international law.”
"We are extremely concerned that the U.S. is yet again acting in spite of the opinion of the majority of states and exclusively to its own mercenary and short-term interest, grossly trampling on the norms of international law,” the statement said.
In a show of support to Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the staunchest U.S. allies in the Middle East, welcomed the move.
Speaking shortly after the White House announcement, Netanyahu said, “Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.”
Netanyahu has long been a critic of the deal, claiming it would allow Iran to skirt international regulations and continue researching nuclear weapons.
“Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start,” he said, because “rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paved Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few years’ time.”
Turkey, another of the Middle East’s influential nations, has vowed to continue its trade with Iran despite threats of sanctions from Washington, insisting it “will not be answerable to anyone.”
Turkey’s Economics Minister Nihat Zeybekci said during an interview with Turkish TV, “We will carry out our trade with Iran, within the possible framework, until the end, and we will not give account to anyone for this."
In Tehran, many people were worried about the return of economic sanctions.
“It directly affects our business and the business of our country,” Sajad Rah Chamani, a salesman, told ABC News. “Unfortunately it will be the people who will bear the pressure and pay the price as the politicians and their families are all well-off enough to be immune from hardships brought about by new sanctions. Whatever happens it will only be the ordinary people who pay the price."